Elevation: 500–1,400 metres (1,640–4,590 feet) above sea level
Rainfall: 1,000–1,600 millimetres (39–63 inches)
Temperature: 18–22°C (64–72°F)
The mountains in the West of Espírito Santo include some of the highest peaks in Brazil. Coffee matures very slowly in this region on account of the wet, cool climate . Coffee grown here typically flowers in March and is not ready for picking until October, by which time the harvest in the rest of the country is mostly finished. This is important for green buyers who want to maintain a supply of fresh crop coffee year-round — and helped by the fact that the region produces some of Brazil’s most distinctive coffees.
Coffee in the region is typically grown on small, family-run farms. The steep hills limit mechanisation, and hand-picking is common. The humid conditions create challenges for drying; the production of high-quality coffees only became possible with the advent of parabolic dryers. For this reason, producers in this region commonly utilise the fully washed process. These factors, together with the altitude and cool climate, create coffee that features marked acidity and unusually floral aromas.
Specialty coffee from the region received a Denominação de Origem (DO) award in April of 2021. According to the terms of the DO, coffees from the region ‘stand out with floral aromas of white roses and jasmine, with flavors of chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, honey, and yellow fruits, with marked citric and malic acidity, and an intense finish’ (INPI 2021).